My facilitation practice and surrounding work is grounded in a theory of
emotional sustainability as an agent for change.
I began exploring emotional sustainability during my Masters in Fashion and the Environment, which I completed in 2015. The concept of emotional sustainability took shape whilst I was researching ethical retail. I began to question how it is that we have come to live in a seemingly value-less society- creating disposable products, fast-fashion and harming the environment and each other. This lead me to explore how we connect to and form our values and how these affect our identity, choices and actions. This thinking expanded to include the complexity of human emotion, connection and the relationship to self, others and the world.
Emotional sustainability as I experience it is not a theory in an academic sense, but more a philosophy and practice that looks to the links between our emotions, feelings and values in relation to personal and social sustainability. I have not set out to measure and scientifically define emotions and values as in their very nature they are hard to measure and therefore often dismissed, ignored or under-valued. However, I do passionately believe that unless we can sustain ourselves - emotionally, mentally and physically - we have little hope in creating the change we need to sustain the planet.
As with any complex and dynamic theory it is challenging to distil and encapsulate. I have done my best to capture the essence of 'emotional sustainability' in the paragraph below. However, in its truest sense it can only felt through a journey of self-discovery so is best understood in personal and shared experiences, creative exchanges, reflection and action.
The ability to become aware of and understand our own emotions better, consciously recognise how our emotions affect our feelings and in turn help to form the values, beliefs and motivations that help give us strength and security in ourselves. To discover our passions and our purpose in order to fulfil our unique potential, and contribute it to an interrelated and interdependent global society and natural world. To become active, not passive. To embrace our creativity and engage in dialogue with others to create shared meaning and positive relationships, that will unite us with equality and give us the optimism, drive and shared innovation needed for us to bring about peace amongst humans, and secure the preservation of our precious planet.